Can Guinea pigs eat weeds?

Yes and no, depending on the weeds. Guinea pigs can eat some types of weeds and some types are poisonous. It is essential to know which weeds are good and bad for your guinea pigs.

Here is a list of the weeds that guinea pigs can eat and which ones they can not eat.

These weeds are safe for your guinea pig to eat:

  • Borage
  • Chickweed – is an excellent weed to feed to guinea pigs and is said to contain vitamin c
  • Red Clover – plant and flowers can be fed
  • Coltsfoot – only feed them the leaves
  • Dandelions – stem, leaves and flowers can be eaten
  • Goosegrass (Cleavers) – guinea pigs can eat the leaves, but not the seedpods.
  • Lavender – is safe but not a lot
  • Mallow
  • Plantain
  • Shephard’s Purse
  • Sow Thistle
  • Yarrow

My guinea pigs especially love dandelions and they can eat the whole plant, stems, leaves and flowers. Guinea pigs like foraging for food, like in the wild, so finding different flavors can be a treat for them. They especially love munching on daisies and dandelions.

Some weeds are however harmful to guinea pigs and can even kill them. Also if you find any discomfort of any sort after consuming any weeds, rather remove them from their diet.

These weeds are poisonous to guinea pigs:

  • Amaryllis
  • Arum Lily (Cuckoo point)
  • Bind weed (Convolvulus)
  • Bracken
  • Bryony
  • Bindweed (Convolvulus )
  • Daisies
  • Deadly Nightshade (Belladonna)
  • Delphinium (Larkspur)
  • Elder
  • Fool’s Parsley
  • Foxglove
  • Feverfew
  • Onion weed
  • Oleander
  • Hellebores (Christmas Rose)
  • Hemlock
  • Henbane
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Lupin
  • Laburnum
  • Poppies
  • Privet
  • Ragwort
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Scarlet Runnertoadflax
  • St. John’s wort

Make sure not to feed your guinea pigs any weeds that have pesticides or poisonous chemicals on them.

If you let your piggies roam and forage outside it would be a good idea to rid your garden of all the harmful weeds. Whenever I let my guinea pigs outside I place them in a playpen in an area where I know the plants are safe to eat and I always keep an eye on them the whole time.

Signs that a guinea pig ate something toxic

  • Toxic plants or pesticides can cause inflammation around the mouth.
  • Gastrointestinal problems, look out for any signs of constipation or improper digestion. Heavy breathing or grinding of teeth can be a sign of pain in the belly.
  • Not wanting to eat or slowness and unwilling to play and run around.

If you find any of these signs you need to keep your guinea pig under close supervision or contact your vet. If symptoms worsen, they can be fatal.

A simple rule of thumb is: If in doubt, don’t feed it to your guinea pig.

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